If you had a chance to live a stage of your life over again, what age would you go back to? Would you want to be an infant, a college student, a young adult, a school child? Would any of you want to live your adolescence over again?
My son Ben is on the verge of becoming a teenager. This past week at churchhe had a TWELVE ceremony marking his journey from a child to a teen. Theservice focused on Luke 2 and the record of when Jesus was twelve. I startedthinking about the reality of what it must have been like for Jesus to be twelve. Itcaused me to develop a deeper sense of appreciation of what Jesus went throughfor me.
I'm absolutely convinced that there is nothing Jesus wouldn't do to save me. Hewas even being willing to become a teenager! Can you imagine the Creatorof the Universe going through puberty? He chose it. He did it foryou and me. Pimples and hormones and all the changes didn’t swayHis willingness one bit.
As I thought about Jesus at twelve, I knew He could manage those years becauseHe had everything He needed to know about facing the storms of adolescence inthe Word of God. When it came to his changing relationship with His parents,He both respected them and challenged them. When Mary and Joseph foundJesus after a hectic four-day search, Mary began to scold Him. "Son,why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiouslysearching for you (Luke 2:48). Jesus was quick to answer with a few questionsof His own: "Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn’tyou know I had to be in my Father's house?" (Luke 2:49). The scripturetells us that He went home with them and was obedient to them. Teenagersstill need the home of their parents even though they are becoming independentthinkers and are developing self-reliant skills. They aren't ready to leavethe nest quite yet.
What about the hormonal challenges? The world has taken the enlightenedposition that all teens are going to have sex anyway, so just give them protection. Jesustook God's position and understood that although His body and hormones experienceda maturing preparedness to have sex, it didn’t mean that it was the righttime for sex. His sexual maturity was an opportunity to practice purityon a new level.
I wonder what peer group Jesus hung around with. We saw in Luke 2 how comfortableHe was around adults. Usually the teens that adults enjoy do not get muchrecognition from their peers. Was Jesus lonely during these years? DidHis friends appreciate the way He was always fair and cheered for His friendto win rather than compete against him?
The scripture doesn't give us a lot of details about Jesus’ life. AsJohn said there was a lot that Jesus said and did that had to be left out (John20:30). What the Bible records for us is that Jesus did go through adolescence. Hedid it for us. There is nothing Jesus wouldn't do to save us. Weare that precious to Him.